To sub or not to sub in 2-channel system - Page 4 - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com
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post #31 of 40 Old 08-19-07, 11:01 PM
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Re: To sub or not to sub

Wide range speakers all have two, three or more speakers in them, so we are always listening to multiple drivers. A subwoofer adds one or two more, and further complicates the phasing between drivers at the crossovers. Whether this helps or hurts high fidelity sound reproduction depends upon the skill of the system integrator to add the components together.

I have a sub on my HT system, and none on my hi-fi system. I still think the hi-fi system sounds better for music than the HT system, but the HT system sounds reasonably good playing music, and the sub is a reasonable addition to that. I can add that on most symphonic music the subwoofer is not used. It's VU meter is off. Pipe organ music wakes it up, for sure, and I do enjoy the extra punch. Techno and hard rock of course gives the sub a workout, but that music is not critical to listen to.
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post #32 of 40 Old 08-20-07, 01:45 PM
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Re: To sub or not to sub

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Wide range speakers all have two, three or more speakers in them, so we are always listening to multiple drivers. A subwoofer adds one or two more, and further complicates the phasing between drivers at the crossovers. Whether this helps or hurts high fidelity sound reproduction depends upon the skill of the system integrator to add the components together.
Ultimately, I think that's the question/issue -- can you integrate the sub into your system properly. I so, even with wide range speakers, I think relieving the stress of the really low notes is going to improve the performance of the over all system.

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I have a sub on my HT system, and none on my hi-fi system. I still think the hi-fi system sounds better for music than the HT system, but the HT system sounds reasonably good playing music, and the sub is a reasonable addition to that. I can add that on most symphonic music the subwoofer is not used. It's VU meter is off. Pipe organ music wakes it up, for sure, and I do enjoy the extra punch. Techno and hard rock of course gives the sub a workout, but that music is not critical to listen to.
To make this comparison, I'd wanna know what equipment you have in the two different systems, room layout, acoustical issues, etc.

All that being said, I agree, for most music, we don't need to get below ~40hz unless you're pulling out that pipe orgain CD (I have one, and tried playing it on my computer speakers -- truly sad).

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post #33 of 40 Old 08-21-07, 12:06 AM
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Re: To sub or not to sub

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All that being said, I agree, for most music, we don't need to get below ~40hz unless you're pulling out that pipe orgain CD (I have one, and tried playing it on my computer speakers -- truly sad).

JCD
The following link http://www.contrabass.com/pages/frequency.html reveals that the lowest note on many instruments is below 40Hz, including the piano at 27.5 Hz. Granted, these lower notes may be rarely used, but I like to think my equipment is capable of delivering the goods when called upon to do so.

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post #34 of 40 Old 08-21-07, 09:06 AM
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Re: To sub or not to sub

Even if the equipment has the potential to deliver such tones the room has to be able to accommodate the tone as well. Do you know the length of the wave produced with a 20 Hz tone? A 16 Hz tone has a wavelength of 72 feet!
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post #35 of 40 Old 08-21-07, 10:33 AM
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Re: To sub or not to sub

[QUOTE=reed.hannebaum;47917]The following link http://www.contrabass.com/pages/frequency.html

Hey Reed,
Thanks for that Link. I wanted to see for myself what kind of instrument played down to 4Hz!
But the really fun part was going from Link to Link from the list of super low subsonic Hz and looking at the instruments designed to articulate sound at 40Hz and below. It seems musicians have always been enthralled with low notes. The instruments to play those notes have been constructed all over the world going back at least a hundred years or so.

Even this "Smiley face" is waving his arms trying create a low note . . . . . looks to be abbout a CCCCC# BBBl = 10 CPS = Hz
And this one who has actually broken the 1/2 sound barrier LOL ie: 1/2 Hz!
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post #36 of 40 Old 08-21-07, 11:46 PM
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Re: To sub or not to sub

Jay,
You are absolutely correct; of all the components that make up a good sound system, the listening room is the most critical (besides our own ears). I have used REW to adjust sub level, equalization and crossover to get a reasonably flat response down to 15 Hz at my favority listening position.



Hey Phil,
It is an interesting link. Some of those instruments are pretty far off the wall. I think it would be tough lugging around a 64' clarinet from gig to gig.

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post #37 of 40 Old 12-17-07, 10:11 PM
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Re: To sub or not to sub

I've actually found music listening without a sub even on bookshelf speakers to be still satisfying, but a well integrated sub just adds that extra dimension that makes me believe in that realism of a recording.

I don't believe that a bookshelf+sub system is going to replace the need for a top class floorstanding system, but for those of us that are constrained in space and/or budget, choosing a decent bookshelf speaker like my small CM or the NHT Classic 3 + a good tight sub like my SVS SB12, can be very satisfying even for critical music listening

Now if you have a good floorstanding system, adding a sub can just make the difference as long as you can integrate the sub properly into your system. Because bass interactions with the room are so pronounced, it's very useful to have some analysis tools such as REW to figure out what's going on in the room as far as peaks and nulls in your room.

I'm an equal opportunity fanboy. I love and currently own stuff from B&W, Paradigm, Dynaudio, Sony, SVS, Denon, Velodyne, Mirage, AKG, Headroom (all subject to change at any moment)
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post #38 of 40 Old 12-18-07, 10:29 AM
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Re: To sub or not to sub

I think Warpdrive hit the nail on the head, There are some fantastic sounding "bookshelf" speakers available that wont break the bank. Most good receivers have a "pure" mode that turns off the sub anyhow so there must be a reason for them taking this measure. I think any speaker than can go down to around 25hz is plenty good for straight listening to music as there are few recordings that will use the octaves below that.
I do agree that the sub ads a bit more dimension to music even if its hardly working.

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Onkyo 805, Yamaha YDP2006EQ, Samson Servo 600 amp
3 EV Sentry 500 monitors across the front, 4 Mission 762i's Surrounds, SVS PB13U sub, Panasonic BDT220, Harmony 1100, Nintendo WiiU
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Sherwood/Newcastle R972, Mission 765's, SVS SBS02's, A/D/S MS3u sub, Yamaha YDG2030EQ
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post #39 of 40 Old 12-20-07, 09:33 AM
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Re: To sub or not to sub

Yes, any good bookshelf speaker can be very satisfying for music listening. For the longest time, I was using a Energy C3 which has output down to about 40Hz, I used it without a sub.

I'm an equal opportunity fanboy. I love and currently own stuff from B&W, Paradigm, Dynaudio, Sony, SVS, Denon, Velodyne, Mirage, AKG, Headroom (all subject to change at any moment)
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post #40 of 40 Old 12-20-07, 08:49 PM
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Re: To sub or not to sub

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jackfish wrote: View Post
Even if the equipment has the potential to deliver such tones the room has to be able to accommodate the tone as well. Do you know the length of the wave produced with a 20 Hz tone? A 16 Hz tone has a wavelength of 72 feet!
I've heard this before but if that is the case, there would be nothing below about 200hz listening to headphones and we all know that isn't true. My advice, go for the sub. The added extension and output will be nice and your mains will be happy when they don't have to strain as hard (read - less distortion) reproducing bass.


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